Governor Murphy is proposing $42 million ($21 million new state funding/$21 million federal Medicaid match) in FY2021 for DSP wages, which is great news indeed! Now the budget is in the hands of the Legislature for review and negotiation. We need your help ensuring that the funding Governor Murphy is proposing makes it in the final FY2021 budget that will be adopted by the Legislature and Governor at the end of June.

To that end, we are asking advocates to submit written testimony to the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees simply explaining to legislators why it’s important to YOU that the final FY2021 budget includes $21 million of new state funding (plus $21 million federal Medicaid match) to increase DSP wages. In your comments, please be sure to thank Governor Murphy for including this new funding for DSP wages in his budget proposal, as well as Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for their continued leadership on the issue. Please find below sample testimony for your edit and personalization.

Please submit your written comments via email to and then FORWARD a copy of your email to Maureen Shea ( ). Maureen is helping coordinate the advocacy efforts for the Coalition.

>The Senate and Assembly Budget Committees are also holding public hearings this month, should you be interested in delivering testimony in person. Full details can be found here:

Thank you in advance for your advocacy!

Valerie Sellers
Chair, Coalition for a DSP Living Wage

Sample Email

Dear Members of the Senate & Assembly Budget Committees:

I am writing to respectfully ask that the Legislature include Governor Murphy’s proposal to include $21 million in new state funding (plus $21 million federal Medicaid match) to increase the wages of direct support professionals (DSP) in FY2021.

The funding that Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and members of the Legislature added to raise DSP wages in FY2020 made progress in bringing wages in line with the responsibilities and demands of the job, but additional state support is needed to secure competitive wages to retain and recruit quality staff. I am hopeful I can count on your continued support in FY 2021. EXPLAIN WHY THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU HERE…

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.


As always thank you to Members of the Coalition for all your advocacy!

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